Searching for some specific emails or items in Exchange 2010 database may be a challenging task for an Administrator. To make the job of an Administrator easy, Exchange provides an inbuilt “Search-Mailbox” cmdlet which searches the mailbox content using various parameters. Using these commands, you can search any mailbox and copy the search results to another mailbox. This post discusses about how to search Exchange 2010 Database and export specific emails.

Let’s see some important parameters of Search Mailbox cmdlets, along with their description.

ParametersDescription
IdentityIt denotes the Identity of the mailbox which you want to search. Here you can put any unique value which is associated with the mailbox like Name, Alias, Distinguished Name (DN), User ID, Display Name, etc.
EstimateResultOnlyIt gives an estimate of total number and size of the messages which you search. However, you cannot copy these messages to a target mailbox.
TargetMailboxIt denotes the destination mailbox where you want to copy your search results. Here you can different values like Display Name, Alias, DN, Object GUID, UPN, etc.
TargetFolderIt is the folder where the search results will be saved in the target mailbox. It is specially created in the target mailbox.

Now let’s see some examples of cmdlets –

Example :-

Search-Mailbox -Identity "TestUser1" -TargetMailbox "MyNewMailbox" -TargetFolder "MyFolder" -LogLevel Full

Description – The above example searches the mailbox of TestUser1. It then places the entries to the folder “MyFolder” of the target mailbox of “MyNewMailbox”.

Search Exchange 2010 Database and Export Specific Emails

Extracting Exchange Mailbox to PST file

After placing the message into the desired mailbox, you can migrate the messages to a PST file. To complete the task, there is a special tool named ExMerge which copies the mailbox items from source Exchange and saves them into a PST file. Here is a brief procedure of using the ExMerge tool :-

  1. Download the utility tool from the following link –

https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=2743

    1. Install the tool and run it as an Administrator.
    2. Log in to your Exchange Account.

Note – You should have administrative rights over the Exchange Mailboxes.

  1. Choose the second option – Extract or Import (two-step procedure) and click Next.
  2. Choose Extract data from an Exchange Server Mailbox. Click Next.
  3. In the Data Selection Criteria wizard, choose Import Procedure tab, and then select Archive Data to target store.
  4. Provide required details and specify the target folder where you want to save the PST file.
  5. After completing the migration process, the tool will inform with a success message box. Click Finish to close the ExMerge utility.

The ExMerge tool seems like a useful tool and it is. However there are also some mentionable limitations which you must be familiar before migrating your mailbox data.

  • The mailbox size should not be more than 2GB.
  • It does not support migration of Public Folders.
  • Requires legitimate permissions to migrate data.
  • As it is a utility tool only, so there may be a chance of data loss.
  • It takes too much time to migrate data.

Alternate Tool for selective Exchange to PST export

After using different techniques and tools to export specific Exchange 2010 mailbox items to PST, you will feel that this entire process is tiresome and error-prone. A non-technical user will not be able to execute it. It is better to use a professional edb to pst conversion tool which can access the EDB file, retrieve its content, and export it to PST format. Kernel for Exchange Server Recovery is one such a tool which fulfills all these demands. It can recover each mailbox item (even the deleted ones). It also gives you a clear preview of selected items, and migrate them to PST file. If there is any existing PST file, then it can also save the mailbox items into it too.